TSI Blog

What? Brain Foods Improve Employee Engagement Levels?

May 19th, 2014 by Alison McKinney

Organisations are fast realising that they need to inspire their workforce to go the extra mile and feel passionate and engaged in their work and in the future of who they work for. In a nutshell, many organisations now realise that engaged employees are an influential source of competitive advantage.

But increasing and maintaining employee engagement levels can be a bit of a challenge for organisations, not to mention the possible cost implications.

However, as mentioned before in previous blogs, there are many activities and workplace initiatives that can be put into place without breaking the bank.

One of them, is encouraging health and well-being and today, I’d like to look at healthy eating, in particular, foods that stimulate our little grey cells. Here are just a few of the top brain foods:

Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study that suggested that a decent intake of vitamin E might help prevent cognitive decline, in particular the elderly. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E as well as leafy green vegetables, asparagus, seeds, eggs and whole grains. They also contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to keep your arteries clear, as well as levels of precursors of serotonin to improve mood.

Oily Fish

The body is incapable of producing essential fatty acids (EFAs) and must be obtained through diet. The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, pilchards, kippers and sardines. They are good for healthy brain function, the heart, joints and general wellbeing.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a red pigment also found in berries and fruits. It is also an antioxidant that is particularly good for your brain – it can help prevent dementia and lower your risk for certain cancers. Tomatoes have to be cooked to get the lycopene, which means, believe it or not, that ketchup can be good for your brain.

Blueberries

Blueberries are not only delicious but super beneficial for your brain as well. They have been associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia, as they have shown to improve both memory, delaying short term memory loss and learning ability. Blueberries are also one of the most powerful anti-stress foods you can eat and are widely available, so there’s no excuse.

Avocado

Whilst the avocado is indeed a fatty fruit, this “good fat” contributes to healthy blood flow, which leads to a healthier brain. Avocados lower your blood pressure, and as high blood pressure is linked to a decline in cognitive function, lower blood pressure should improve brain health. Be careful though, because avocados are high in calories, limit yourself to just 1/4 or 1/2 of an avocado to a daily meal.

There are many other brain foods, but here’s an idea. By introducing brain food snacks in the workplace, organisations will be taking a positive step towards helping with their employee’s well-being and encouraging them to live a healthy lifestyle – and it wouldn’t cost much and could also have a positive effect on employee engagement levels.

Want more tips on how to improve employee engagement levels in your organisation, then why not give us a call on +44 (0) 1255 850051 or fill out our online web form.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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